Esoteric Online


Man is a far more complete being than is generally imagined. He has not 

only a body and a soul, but he is a spirit possessing a soul, which soul has 

several vehicles for expression, these several vehicles being of different

degrees of density, the body being the lowest form of expression. These

different vehicles manifest upon different "planes," such as the "physical

plane," the "astral plane," etc., all of which will be explained as we proceed.

The real self is pure spirit, a spark of the divine fire. This spirit is encased

within numerous sheaths, which prevent its full expression. As man

advances in development, his consciousness passes from the lower planes to

the higher, and he becomes more and more aware of his higher nature.

The spirit contains within it all potentialities, and as man progresses he

unfolds new powers, new qualities, into the light.

The Yogi philosophy teaches that man is composed of seven principles - is a

sevenfold creature. The best way to think of man is to realize that the spirit

is the real self, and that the lower principles are but confining sheaths. Man

may manifest upon seven planes, that is, the highly developed man, as the

majority of men of this age can manifest only upon the lower planes, the

higher planes not having as yet been reached by them, although every man,

no matter how undeveloped, possesses the seven principles potentially. The

first five planes have been attained by many, the sixth by a few, the seventh

by practically none of this race at this time.


The seven principles of man, as known to the Yogi philosophy, are herewith

stated, English terms being substituted for Sanscrit words, so far as may be:

7. Spirit.

6. Spiritual-Mind.

5. Intellect.

4. Instinctive-Mind.

3. Prana, or Vital Force.

2. Astral Body.

1. Physical Body.

We will briefly run over the general nature of each of these seven principles,

that the student may understand future references to them; but we will

defer our detailed treatment of the subject until later on in the lessons.

1. The Physical Body.

Of all the seven principles of man, the physical body is of course the most

apparent. It is the lowest in the scale, and is the crudest manifestation of

the man. But this does not mean that the physical should be despised or

neglected. On the contrary, it is a most necessary principle for the growth of

man in his present stage of development - the temple of the living Spirit -

and it should be carefully tended and cared for in order to render it a more

perfect instrument. We have but to look around us and see how the

physical bodies of different men show the different degrees of development

under mental control. It is a duty of each developed man to train his body to

the highest degree of perfection in order that it may be used to advantage.

The body should be kept in good health and condition and trained to obey

the orders of the mind, rather than to rule the mind, as is so often the case.

The care of the body, under the intelligent control of the mind, is an

important branch of Yogi philosophy, and is known as "Hatha Yoga." We are

preparing a little textbook upon "Hatha Yoga," which will

soon be ready for the press, that will give the Yogi teachings upon this

most important branch of self development. The Yogi philosophy teaches

that the physical body is built up of cells, each cell containing within it a

miniature "life," which controls its action. These "lives" are really bits of

intelligent mind of a certain degree of growth, which enable the cells to

perform their work properly. These bits of intelligence are, of course,

subordinate to the control of the central mind of the man, and will readily

obey orders from headquarters, given either subconsciously or

consciously. These cell intelligences manifest a perfect adaptation for their

particular work. The selective action of the cells, extracting from the blood

the nourishment needed and rejecting that which is not required, is an

instance of this intelligence. The process of digestion, assimilation, etc.,

shows the intelligence of the cells, either separately or collectively in

groups. The healing of wounds, the rush of the cells to the points where

they are most needed, and hundreds of other examples known to the

student of physiology, all mean to the Yogi student examples of the "life"

within each atom. Each atom is to the Yogi a living thing, leading its own

independent life. These atoms combine into groups for some end, and the

group manifests a group-intelligence, as long as it remains a group; these

groups again combining in turn, and forming bodies of a more complex

nature, which

serve as vehicles for higher forms of consciousness. When death comes to

the physical body the cells separate and scatter, and that which we call

decay sets in. The force which has held the cells together is withdrawn, and

it becomes free to go its own way and form new combinations. Some go into

the body of the plants in the vicinity, and eventually find themselves again

in the body of an animal; others remain in the organism of the plant; others

remain in the ground for a time, but the life of the atom means incessant

and constant change. As a leading writer has said: "Death is but an aspect

of life, and the destruction of one material form is but a prelude to the

building up of another."

We will not devote further space to the consideration of the physical, as that

is a subject by itself, and, then, our students are no doubt anxious to be led

into subjects with which they are not quite so familiar. So we will leave this

first principle and pass on to the second, wishing, however, again to remind

the student that the first step in Yogi development consists of the mastery of

the physical body and its care and attention. We will have more to say of

this subject before we are through with this course.

2. The Astral Body.

This second principle of man is not nearly so well known as its physical

brother, although it is

closely connected with the latter and is its exact counterpart in

appearance. The astral body has been known to people in all ages, and

has given rise to many superstitions and mysteries, owing to a lack of

knowledge of its nature. It has been called the "ethereal body"; the

"fluidic body"; the "double"; the "wraith"; the "Doppelganger," etc. It is

composed of matter of a finer quality than that composing our physical

bodies, but matter none the less. In order to give you a clearer idea of

what we mean, we will call your attention to water, which manifests in

several well-known forms. Water at a certain temperature is known as

ice, a hard, solid substance; at a little higher temperature it assumes its

best known form, which we call "water"; at a still higher temperature it

escapes in the form of a vapor which we call "steam," although the real

steam is invisible to the human eye, and becomes apparent only when

it mixes with the air and has its temperature lowered a little, when it

becomes vapor visible to the eye, and which vapor we call "steam."

The astral body is the best counterpart of the physical body and may be

separated from it under certain circumstances. Ordinarily, conscious

separation is a matter of considerable difficulty, but in persons of a

certain degree of psychical development the astral body may be

detached and often goes on journeys. To the clairvoyant vision the

astral body is seen looking exactly like its counterpart, the physical

body, and united to it by a slender silken cord.

The astral body exists some time after the death of the person to whom

it belongs, and under certain circumstances it is visible to living

persons, and is called a "ghost." There are other means whereby the

spirits of those who have passed on may become manifest, and the

astral shell which is sometimes seen after it has been sloughed off by

the soul which has passed on is in such cases nothing more than a

corpse of finer matter than its physical counterpart. In such cases it is

possessed of no life or intelligence, and is nothing more than a cloud

seen in the sky bearing a resemblance to a human form. It is a shell,

nothing more. The astral body of a dying person is sometimes projected

by an earnest desire, and is at such times seen by friends and relatives

with whom he is in sympathy. There are many cases of this kind on

record, and the student probably is aware of occurrences of this kind.

We will have more to say about the astral body and astral shells in other

lessons in this course. We will have occasion to go into further detail

when we reach the subject of the astral plane, and, in fact, the astral

body will form a part of several lessons.

The astral body is invisible to the ordinary eye, but is readily perceived

by those having clairvoyant power of a certain degree. Under certain

circumstances the astral body of a living person may be seen by friends

and others, the mental condition of

the persons and the observer having much to do with the matter. Of

course, the trained and developed occultist is able to project his astral

body consciously, and may make it appear at will; but such powers are

rare and are acquired only after a certain stage of development is


The adept sees the astral body rising from the physical body as the

hour of death approaches. It is seen hovering over the physical body, to

which it is bound by a slender thread. When the thread snaps the

person is dead, and the soul passes on carrying with it the astral body,

which in turn is discarded as the physical body has been before. It

must be remembered that the astral body is merely a finer grade of

matter, and that it is merely a vehicle for the soul, just as is the

physical, and that both are discarded at the proper time. The astral

body, like the physical, disintegrates after the death of the person, and

persons of a psychic nature sometimes see the dissolving fragments

around cemeteries, in the shape of violet light.

We are merely calling attention to the different vehicles of the soul of

man, his seven principles, and we must hasten on to the next principle.

We would like to speak to you of the interesting phenomenon of the ego

leaving the physical body in the astral body while one is "asleep." We

would like to tell you just what occurs during, sleep, and how one may

give orders to his astral self to gain

certain information or to work out certain problems while he is, wrapped in

sleep, but that belongs to another phase of our subject, and we must pass

on after merely whetting your appetite. We wish you to get these seven

principles well fixed in your mind, so that you may be able to understand

the terms when we use them later on.

3. Prana, or Vital Force.

We have said something of Prana in our little book, "The Science of

Breath," which many of you have read. As we said in that book, Prana is

universal energy, but in our consideration of it we will confine ourselves to

that manifestation of Prana which we call vital force. This vital force is found

in all forms of life - from the amoeba to man - from the most elementary

form of plant life to the highest form of animal life. Prana is all-pervading. It

is found in all things having life, and as the occult philosophy teaches that

life is in all things - in every atom - the apparent lifelessness of some things

being only a lesser degree of manifestation, we may understand that Prana

is everywhere, in everything. Prana is not the Ego, but is merely a form of

energy used by the Ego in its material manifestation. When the Ego

departs from the physical body, in what we call "death," the Prana, being

no longer under the control of the Ego, responds only to the orders of the

individual atoms or their groups,

which have formed the physical body, and as the physical body

disintegrates and is resolved back to its original elements, each atom takes

with it sufficient Prana to enable it to form new combinations, the unused

Prana returning to the great universal storehouse from whence it came.

Prana is in all forms of matter, and yet it is not matter - it is the energy or

force which animates matter. We have gone into the matter of Prana in our

little book previously referred to, and we do not wish to take up the

students' time in repeating what we said there.

But before taking up the next principle, we wish to direct the student's

attention to the fact that Prana is the force underlying magnetic healing,

much of mental healing, absent treatment, etc. That which has been

spoken of by many as human magnetism is really Prana.

In "Science of Breath," we have given you directions for increasing the Prana

in your system; distributing it over the body, strengthening each part and

organ and stimulating every cell. It may be directed toward relieving pain in

one's self and others by sending to the affected part a supply of Prana

extracted from the air. It may be projected to a distance so far as to affect

other persons. The thought of the projector sends forth and colors the Prana

gathered for the purpose, and finds lodgment in the psychic organism of

the patient. Like the

Marconi waves it is invisible to the eye of man (with the exception of

certain persons who have attained a high degree of clairvoyant power); it

passes through intervening obstacles and seeks the person attuned to

receive it.

This transferring of Prana under the direction of the will is the

underlying principle of thought transference, telepathy, etc. One may

surround himself with an aura of Prana, colored with strong positive

thought, which will enable him to resist the adverse thought waves of

others, and which will enable him to live serene in an atmosphere of

antagonistic and inharmonious thought.

We advise students to reread that portion of "Science of Breath" which

deals with the use of Prana. We propose going into great detail regarding

this phase of the subject, during the course of these lessons, but

"Science of Breath" gives a good fundamental idea of the nature of Prana

and the methods of its use, and students will do well to refresh their

minds on this subject.

We do not wish to weary you by this description of each of the seven

principles, and we are aware that you are impatient to enter into the

more interesting phases of the subject. But it is absolutely necessary

that you obtain a clear idea of these seven principles, in order that you

may understand that which follows, and to obviate the necessity of your

being "sent back" to relearn the lesson which you

have "skipped." We had this idea in mind when we started this class in

November, 1903, instead of waiting until January, 1904, and we give

you the November and December lessons as "good measure," so as to be

able to reach the more interesting part of the subject by the January


We will leave the subject of Prana and will pass on to the next principle;

but we trust that you will not leave this part of the lesson until you have

acquired a clear idea of Prana and its qualities and uses. Study your

"Science of Breath" until you understand something of Prana.


The Western reader who has studied the writings of some of the recent

Western psychologists will recognize in the Instinctive Mind certain

attributes of the so-called "subjective" or "subconscious" minds spoken of

so frequently by the said writers. These writers discovered in man these

characteristics, as well as certain higher phases of the mind (coining

from the Spiritual Mind), and without stopping to investigate further,

they advanced a "new" theory that man is possessed of two minds, i.e.,

the "objective" and "subjective," or as some have termed them, the

"conscious and "subconscious." This was all very well so far as it went,

but these investigators set the "conscious" mind aside and bundled all

the rest into their "subconscious"

or "subjective" mind, ignoring the fact that they were mixing the highest

and lowest qualities of mind and putting them in the same class, and

leaving the middle quality by itself. The "subjective mind" and the

"subconscious" theories are very confusing, as the student finds grouped

together the most sublime flashes of genius and the silliest nothings of

the man of low development, the mind of the latter being almost

altogether "subjective."

To those who have read up on these theories, we would say that such

reading will materially help them to understand the three mental

principles of man, if they will remember that the "conscious" or "objective"

mind corresponds very nearly with the "Intellect" principle in the Yogi

philosophy; and that the lowest portions of the "subjective" or

"subconscious" mind are what the Yogis term the "Instinctive Mind"

principle; while the higher and sublime qualities, which the Western

writers have noticed and have grouped with the lower qualities in forming

their "subjective mind" and "subconscious mind" theories, is the "Spiritual

Mind" principle of the Yogis, with the difference that the "Spiritual Mind"

has additional properties and qualities of which these Western theorists

have never dreamed. As we touch upon each of these three mental

principles, you will see the points of resemblance and the points of

difference between the Yogi teachings and the Western theories.

We wish it distinctly understood, however, that we do not desire to detract

from the praise justly earned by these Western investigators; in fact, the

Yogis owe them a debt of gratitude for preparing the Western mind for the

fuller teachings. The student who has read the works of the writers referred

to will find it very much easier to grasp the idea of the three mental

principles in man than if he had never heard of any division in the

functioning of the mind of man. Our principal reason for calling attention to

the mistake of the Western dual-mind theories was that to the mind of the

Yogi it is painful to see that which he knows to be the highest manifestation

of mind, that which is the seat of inspiration and flashes of genius, that

which touches the pure Spirit (the Spiritual Mind), which is just beginning

to awaken in men of development and growth - confused and confounded

with and placed in the same class with the lowest mental principle (the

Instinctive Mind) which, while most necessary and useful to man, under the

direction of his higher principle is still something which is common to the

most undeveloped man, even to the lower form of the animal kingdom - yea,

even to the plant life. We trust that the student will free his mind of

preconceived ideas on this important subject, and will listen to what we say

before forming his final opinion. In our next lesson, we will go into detail

regarding each of the three Mental Principles.

In our First Lesson we called your attention briefly to the three lower

principles of man - i.e., (1) the physical body; (2) the astral body; (3)

Prana, or vital force. We also led up to the subject of the mental

principles, which form the fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, of the

seven principles of man.

For convenience sake, we will again enumerate the four higher


(7) Spirit.

(6) Spiritual mind.

(5) Intellect.

(4) Instinctive mind.

This terminology is more or less unsatisfactory, but we adopt it in

preference to the Sanscrit terms which prove so puzzling and elusive to

the average Western student.

The three lower principles are the most material, and the atoms of which

they are composed are, of course, indestructible, and go on forever in

countless forms and aspects; but these principles, so far as

the ego is concerned, are things merely to be used in connection with a

particular earth - life, just as man uses clothing, heat, electricity, etc.,

and they form no part of his higher nature.

The four higher principles, on the contrary, go to make up the thinking

part of man - the intelligent part, so to speak. Even the lowest of the

four, the instinctive mind, goes to form the higher part of the man.

Those who have not considered the subject at all are apt to regard as

absurd the suggestion that the mind of man functions on more than

one plane. Students of psychology, however, have long recognized the

varying phases of mentation, and many theories have been advanced to

account for the same. Such students will find that the Yogi philosophy

alone gives the key to the mystery. Those who have studied the

dual-mind theories of certain Western writers will also find it easier to

conceive of more than one plane of mentality.

At first sight it would seem that the conscious, reasoning part of man's

mind did the most work if, indeed, not all of it. But a little reflection will

show us that the conscious, reasoning work of the mind is but a small

fraction of its task. Man's mind functions on three planes of effort, each

plane shading imperceptibly into the planes on either side of it - the

one next higher or the one next lower. The student may think of the

matter either as one mind

functioning along three lines, or as three minds shading into each other;

both views have more or less of the truth in them; the real truth is too

complex to be considered in detail in an elementary lesson. The principal

thing is to get the idea fixed in the mind - to form mental pegs upon which

to hang future information. We will touch briefly upon the several "minds,"

or planes of mental effort, beginning with the lowest, the instinctive mind.

(4) The Instinctive Mind.

This plane of mentation we share in connection with the lower animals, in,

at least, its lower forms. It is the first plane of mentation reached in the

scale of evolution. Its lowest phases are along lines in which consciousness

is scarcely evident, and it extends from this lowly place in the scale until it

manifests a very high degree of consciousness in comparison with its lowest

phases; in fact, when it begins to shade into the fifth principle, it is difficult

to distinguish it from the lowest forms of the latter.

The first dawn of the instinctive mind may be seen even in the mineral

kingdom, more particularly in crystals, etc. Then in the plant kingdom it

grows more distinct and higher in the scale, some of the higher families of

plants showing even a rudimentary form of consciousness. Then in the

world of the lower animals are seen increasing manifestations of the

instinctive mind, from the almost plant like

intelligence of the lower forms until we reach a degree almost equal to that

of the lowest form of human life. Then, among men, we see it shading

gradually into the fifth principle, the intellect, until in the highest form of

man today we see the fifth principle, intellect, in control to a certain extent,

and subordinating the fourth principle to it, either wisely or unwisely. But,

remember this, that even the highest form of man carries about with him

the fourth principle, the instinctive mind, and in varying degrees uses it, or

is used by it. The instinctive mind is most useful to man in this stage of his

development - he could not exist as a physical being without it, in fact - and

he may make a most valuable servant of it if he understands it; but woe to

him if he allows it to remain in control or to usurp prerogatives belonging to

its higher brother. Now, right here we must call your attention to the fact

that man is still a growing creature - he is not a finished product by any

means. He has reached his present stage of growth after a toilsome journey;

but it is merely sunrise yet, and the full day is far off. The fifth principle, the

intellect, has unfolded to a certain degree, particularly in the more

advanced men of today, but the unfoldment is merely beginning with many.

Many men are but little more than animals, and their minds function

almost entirely upon the instinctive plane. And all men of today, with the

exceptions of a few very highly

developed individuals, have need to be on guard lest the instinctive mind

does not occasionally unduly assert its power over them, when they are off

their guard.

The lowest phase of the work of the instinctive mind is akin to the same

work manifesting in the plant kingdom. The work of our bodies is performed

by this part of the mind. The constant work of repair, replacement, change,

digestion, assimilation, elimination, etc., is being performed by this part of

the mind, all below the plane of consciousness. The wondrous work of the

body, in health and sickness, is faithfully carried on by this part of our

minds, all without our conscious knowledge. The intelligent work of every

organ, part, and cell of the body is under the superintendence of this part of

the mind. Read in "Science of Breath" of the marvelous process of the

circulation of the blood, its purification, etc., and realize, faintly, what a

wonderful work is even this lowest phase of the instinctive mind. We will

show more of its workings in our forthcoming work "Hatha Yoga," but any

school physiology will give you a clear idea of what it does, although its

writer does not tell the cause behind it. This part of the work of the

instinctive mind is well performed in the lower animals, plants, and in man,

until the latter begins to unfold a little intellect, when he often begins to

meddle with the work properly belonging to this plane of the mind, and


to it adverse suggestions, fear thoughts, etc. However, this trouble is but

temporary, as, when the intellect unfolds a little farther, it sees the error

into which it has fallen and proceeds to rectify the trouble and to prevent its


But this is only a part of the province of the instinctive mind. As the animal

progressed along the scale of evolution, certain things became necessary for

its protection and well-being. It could not reason on these things, so that

wonderful intelligence dwelling, subconsciously, in the instinctive mind

unfolded until it was able to grasp the situation and meet it. It aroused the

"fighting instinct" in the brute for its preservation, and this action of the

instinctive mind, very good for its purpose and essential to the preservation

of the life of the animal, is still with us and occasionally projects itself into

our mentality with a surprising degree of strength. There is a great deal of

the old animal fighting spirit in us yet, although we have managed to

control it and to hold it in restraint, thanks to the light obtained from our

unfolding higher faculties. The instinctive mind also taught the animal how

to build its nests, how to migrate before approaching winter, how to

hibernate, and thousands of other things well known to students of natural

history. And it teaches us how to do the many things which we perform

instinctively, as it also assumes tasks which we learn how to perform by

means of our intellect, and

which we pass on to the instinctive mind, which afterward performs them

automatically or nearly so. It is astonishing how many of our daily tasks are

performed under the direction of our instinctive mind, subject merely to a

casual supervision of the Intellect. When we learn to do things "by heart,"

we have really mastered them on the intellectual plane, and then passed

them on to the instinctive plane of mentation. The woman with her sewing

machine, the man who runs his engine, the painter with his brush, all find

the instinctive mind a good friend, in fact the intellect would soon tire if it

had these every - day tasks to perform. Note the difference between learning

to do a thing, and then doing it after it has been learned. These

manifestations of the instinctive mind are of course among its higher

phases, and are due largely to its contact with and blending with the

unfolding intellect.

The instinctive mind is also the "habit" mind. The intellect (either that of the

owner of the instinctive mind, or of some other man) passes on ideas to it,

which it afterward faithfully carries out to the letter, unless corrected or

given better instructions, or worse ones, by the intellect of some one.

The instinctive mind is a queer storehouse. It is full of things received from a

variety of sources. It contains many things which it has received through

heredity; other things which have unfolded within it, the seeds of which

were sown at the time of the

primal impulse which started life along the path; other things which it

has received from the intellect, including suggestions from others, as

well as thought-waves sent out from the minds of others, which have

taken lodgment within its corridors. All sorts of foolishness as well as

wisdom is there. We will deal with this phase of the subject in future

lessons, under the head of Suggestion and Auto Suggestion, Thought

Power, etc.

Instinctive mind manifests varying degrees of consciousness, varying

from almost absolute sub-consciousness to the simple consciousness of

the highest of the lower animals and the lower forms of man.

Self-consciousness comes to man with the unfoldment of the intellect,

and will be spoken of in its proper place. Cosmic or universal

consciousness comes with the unfoldment of the spiritual mind and will

be touched upon later on. This gradual growth of consciousness is a

most interesting and important branch of the subject before us, and will

be referred to, and spoken of, at different points in this course.

Before we pass on to the next principle, we must call your attention to

the fact that the instinctive mind is the seat of the appetites, passions,

desires, instincts, sensations, feelings, and emotions of the lower order,

manifested in man as well as in the lower animals. There are of course

higher ideas, emotions, aspirations, and desires, reaching the advanced

man from the unfolding spiritual mind, but

the animal desires, and the ordinary feelings, emotions, etc., belong to the

instinctive mind. All the "feelings" belonging to our passional and emotional

nature belong to this plane. All animal desires, such as hunger and thirst,

sexual desires (on the physical plane); all passions, such as physical love,

hatred, envy, malice, jealousy, revenge, are a part of it. The desire for the

physical (unless as a means of reaching higher things), the longing for the

material, all belong to this plane. The "lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes,

the pride of life," are on this plane. This principle is the most material of the

three mental principles, and is the one which is apt to bind us the closest to

the earth and earthly things. Remember, that we are not condemning

material or "earthly" things - they are all right in their place; but man in his

unfoldment grows to see these things as only a means to an end - only a step

in the spiritual evolution. And with clearer vision he ceases to be bound too

tightly to the material side of life, and, instead of regarding it as the end and

aim of all things, sees that it is, at the best, only a means to a higher end.

Many of the "brute" instincts are still with us, and are much in evidence in

undeveloped people. Occultists learn to curb and control these lower

instincts, and to subordinate them to the higher mental ideals which open

up to them. Be not discouraged, dear student, if you find much of the

animal still

within you. It is no sign of "badness," or evil; in fact the recognition of it

by one is a sign that his unfoldment has begun, for, before, the same

thing was there and not recognized for what it is, whereas now it is both

seen and recognized. Knowledge is power; learn to know the remnants

of the brute nature within you and become a tamer of wild beasts. The

higher principles will always obtain the mastery, but patience,

perseverance, and faith are required for the task. These "brute" things

were all right in their time - the animal had need of them they were

"good" for the purpose intended, but now that man is reaching higher

points on the path, he sees clearer and learns to subordinate the lower

parts of himself to the higher.

The lower instincts were not implanted in your nature by "the devil"; you

came by them honestly. They came in the process of evolution as a

proper and right thing, but have been largely outgrown and can now be

left behind. So do not fear these inheritances from the past; you can put

them aside or subordinate them to higher things as you journey along

the path. Do not despise them, though you tread them under foot - they

are the steps upon which you have reached your present high estate,

and upon which you will attain still greater heights.

(5) The Intellect.

We now reach the mental principle which distinguishes man from the


The first four principles man shares in common with the lower forms of

life, but when the fifth principle begins to unfold he has reached an

important stage of the journey along the path of attainment. He feels his

manhood manifesting within him.

Now, remember, that there is no violent change or marked transition

from the consciousness of the fourth principle into that of the fifth. As

we have before explained, these principles shade into each other, and

blend as do the colors of the spectrum. As intellect unfolds, it

illuminates faintly the fourth principle, and endows instinctive life with

reason. Simple consciousness shades into self-consciousness. Before the

fifth principle dawns fairly, the creature having the four principles well

developed has passions but no reason; emotions but not intellect;

desires but no rationalized will. It is the subject awaiting the monarch,

the sleeper awaiting the magic touch of the one who has been sent to

awaken him from the enchanter's deep sleep. It is the brute awaiting the

coming of that which will transform it into a man.

In some of the lower animals, the fourth principle has attracted to itself

the lowest shading of the fifth principle, and the animal manifests signs

of a faint reasoning. On the other hand, in some of the lower forms of

man - the Bushman, for example-, the fourth principle has scarcely

been perceptibly

colored by the incoming fifth principle, and the "man" is scarcely more

than a brute, in fact is more of a brute, mentally, than some of the

higher domesticated animals, who, having been for many generations in

close companionship with man, have been colored by his mental


The first sign of the real unfoldment of the fifth principle, intellect, is the

dawning of self-consciousness. In order more fully to understand this,

let us consider what consciousness really is.

Among the lower animals there is very little of that which we call

consciousness. The consciousness of the lower animal forms is but little

more than mere sensation. Life in the early stages is almost automatic.

The mentation is almost entirely along subconscious lines, and the

mentation itself is only that which is concerned with the physical life of

the animal - the satisfaction of its primitive wants. After a bit, this

primitive consciousness developed into what psychologists term simple

consciousness. Simple consciousness is an "awareness" of outside things

- a perception and recognition of things other than the inner self. The

conscious attention is turned outward. The animal, or low order of man,

cannot think of his hopes and fears, his aspirations, his plans, his

thoughts, and then compare them with the like thoughts of others of his

kind. He cannot turn his gaze inward and speculate upon abstract

things. He simply takes things for granted

and asks no questions. He does not attempt to find solutions for

questions within himself, for he is not aware that such questions exist.

With the advent of self-consciousness man begins to form a conception

of the "I" He begins to compare himself with others and to reason about

it. He takes mental stock, and draws conclusions from what he finds in

his mind. He begins to think for himself, to analyze, classify, separate,

deduce, etc. As he progresses he begins to think out things for himself,

and passes along new and fresh suggestions to his instinctive mind. He

begins to rely upon his own mind, rather than blindly accepting that

which emanates from the mind of others. He begins to create for

himself, and is no longer a mere mental automaton.

And from a mere glimmering of conscious intelligence there has grown

the highest intelligence of today. A modern writer forcibly expresses the

growth in the following words: "For some hundreds of years, upon the

general plane of self-consciousness, an ascent, to the human eye

gradually, but from the point of view of cosmic evolution rapid, has been

made. In a race, large-brained, walking erect, gregarious, brutal, but

king of all other brutes, man in appearance but not in fact, was from the

highest simple-consciousness born the basic human faculty

self-consciousness, and its twin, language. From these and what went

with these, through

suffering, toil, and war; through bestiality, savagery, barbarism; through

slavery, greed, effort; through conquests infinite, through defeats

overwhelming, through struggle unending; through ages of aimless

semi-brutal existence; through subsistence on berries and roots; through the

use of the casually found stone or stick; through life in deep forests, with nuts

and seeds, and on the shores of waters with mollusks, crustaceans, and fish

for food; through that greatest, perhaps, of human victories, the domestication

and subjugation of fire; through the invention and art of bow and arrow;

through the taming of animals and the breaking of them to labor; through the

long learning which led to the cultivation of the soil; through the adobe brick

and the building of houses therefrom; through the smelting of metals and the

slow birth of the arts which rest upon these; through the slow making of

alphabets and the evolution of the written word; in short, through thousands

of centuries of human life, of human aspiration, of human growth, sprang the

world of men and women as it stands before us and within us today with all

its achievements and possessions."

Self-consciousness is a thing easy to comprehend, but difficult to define. One

writer has expressed it well when he says that without self-consciousness a

creature may know; but only by the aid of self-consciousness is it possible

for him to know that he knows.

And with this unfoldment of the intellect came the beginnings of all the

wonderful achievements of the human mind of today. But great as are these

achievements, these are as nothing to what is yet before the race. From

victory on to victory will the intellect progress. In its unfoldment, as it begins

to receive more and more light from the next highest principle, the spiritual

mind, it will achieve things as yet undreamed of. And yet, poor mortal,

remember, intellect is third from the highest in the scale on the principles

of man. There are two principles as much higher than intellect, as intellect

is higher than the principle below - instinctive mind. Do not make a God of

intellect; do not allow the pride of intellect to blind you.

The importance of the awakening of self-consciousness may be more clearly

recognized when we tell you that the occult doctrine is that once the

self-consciousness is awakened into being, once the "I" has been felt and

recognized, the real awakened life of the soul begins. We do not refer to the

life that comes after the spiritual awakening - that is a still higher stage -

but to the mental awakening of the soul to the "I" consciousness. This is the

stage where the baby ego first begins its waking existence. Previous to that

time it has slumbered on, alive but not conscious of itself, and now the time

of labor pains and birth is at hand. The soul has to meet new conditions,

and has many an obstacle to overcome

before it reaches spiritual manhood. Many experiences will it undergo,

many trials will it be forced to meet; but still the progress is on and on

and on.

At times there may be setbacks, and it may even seem to retrograde,

but such obstacles are soon surmounted and the soul takes up its

journey again. There is no real going backward on the path, and slow as

the progress may seem, each of us is moving steadily forward.

We had hoped to be able to reach the subject of the sixth principle,

spiritual mind, in this lesson, but we see that we have not sufficient

space at our disposal, so we must defer that most interesting subject, as

well as that of the seventh principle, spirit, until the next lesson. We

are aware that our students are eager to press forward, and we are

wasting as little time as possible on the way; but there are certain

fundamental truths which must be clearly understood before we dare

take another step.

There are a number of lessons to be drawn from the subjects of the

instinctive mind and the intellect, and this is as good a place as any in

which to consider them.

One of these lessons is that the awakening of intellect does not

necessarily make the creature a better being, in the sense of being

"good." While it is true that an unfolding principle or faculty will give an

upward tendency to man, it is equally true

that some men are so closely wrapped in the folds of the animal sheath

- so steeped in the material side of things - that the awakened intellect

only tends to give them increased powers to gratify their low desires

and inclinations. Man, if he chooses, may excel the beasts in bestiality -

he may descend to depths of which the beast would never have

thought. The beast is governed solely by instinct, and his actions, so

prompted, are perfectly natural and proper, and the animal is not

blamed for following the impulses of its nature. But man, in whom

intellect has unfolded, knows that it is contrary to his highest nature to

descend to the level of the beasts yea, lower by far. He adds to the brute

desires the cunning and intelligence which have come to him, and

deliberately prostitutes his higher principle to the task of carrying out

the magnified animal propensities. Very few animals abuse their

desires - it is left for some men to do so. The higher the degree of

intellect unfolded in a man, the greater the depths of low passions,

appetites, and desires possible to him. He actually creates new brute

desires, or rather, builds edifices of his own upon the brute

foundations. It is unnecessary for us to state that all occultists know

that such a course will bring certain consequences in its train, which

will result in the soul having to spend many weary years in retracing its

steps over the backward road it has trodden. Its progress has been

retarded, and it will be

compelled to re-travel the road to freedom, in common with the beast like

natures of undeveloped creatures whose proper state of the journey it is,

having an additional burden in the shape of the horror of consciousness of

its surroundings, whereas its companions have no such consciousness and

consequently suffer not. If you can imagine a civilized, refined man having

to live among Australian Bushmen for many years, with a full recollection of

what he has lost, you may form a faint idea of the fate in store for one who

deliberately sinks his high powers to the accomplishment of low ends and

desires. But even for such a soul there is escape - in time.

Let your higher nature be on guard and refuse to be drawn back into the

brute life which has been passed through. Keep your gaze upward, and let

your motto be: "Forward." The brute nature may exert a pull downward, but

the spiritual mind will give you a helping hand, and will sustain you if you

but trust to it. The intellect is between the two, and may be influenced by

either or both. Take your choice, oh, struggling soul. Your help is within

you; look to it, and refuse to be dragged back into the mire of the animal

mind. Manifest the "I" within you and be strong. You are an immortal soul,

and are moving on and on and on to still greater things. Peace be yours.

In our Second Lesson we gave you a brief outline of the Fourth and Fifth

Principles of Man, i.e.; (4) Instinctive Mind, and (5) Intellect. As we have told

you before, man has passed through the Fourth Principle stage to its

extreme, and has now passed on to a consciousness of the Fifth Principle,

Intellect. Some of us have developed the Intellectual stage to a considerable

extent (although we have practically conquered but a few square miles of

the new territory of the mind, and there is still a great task before us), while

other men seem to have a consciousness almost altogether within the

borders of the Instinctive Mind, and have only a glimmering of Intellect.

Not only is this true of the savage races, but many, very many of so-called

"civilized" people have not learned to do their own thinking, and seem

willing to allow others to do their thinking for them, they following certain

leaders with the stupid habit of the sheep. But still the race is progressing,

slowly but surely, and many are thinking now who never thought before, a


number are refusing to take their thinking second hand, and are insisting

upon knowing for themselves. When we consider that there are many men

in whom the Fifth Principle, the Intellect, has scarcely unfolded, and that

the race in general has taken but a few steps into the land of the Intellect,

we begin to realize how difficult it is for any of us except the man or woman

of exceptional spiritual unfoldment to comprehend even faintly the still

higher Principles. It is something like a man born blind trying to

comprehend light; or one born deaf endeavoring to form a mental concept of

sound. One can only form an idea of something akin to his experiences. A

man who has never tasted anything sweet cannot form an idea of sugar.

Without experience or consciousness of a thing, our minds are unable to

form a concept.

But nearly all of us who have been attracted to these lessons or who have

attracted these lessons to us, have had experiences which will enable us to

comprehend something of the Sixth Principle - have had glimmerings of

consciousness which help us to understand something of the Spiritual

Mind. A tendency toward the occult - the hunger of the soul for more light -

are indications that the Sixth Principle, Spiritual Mind, is beginning to

shade into our consciousness, and, although it may be ages before we

awaken into full Spiritual Consciousness, we are still being influenced and

helped by it.

This spiritual unrest often causes us great discomfort, until we find

ourselves on the right road to knowledge, and even thereafter we feel more

or less unsatisfied by the few crumbs that drop to us from the table of

Knowledge. But despair not, seekers after the Truth; these pains are but

the travail of spiritual birth - great things are before you - take courage and

fear not.

Toward the end of this lesson we will speak of the process of "Illumination"

or Spiritual Consciousness, which has come, or is coming, to many of us,

and what we have to say may throw light upon many experiences which

have come to you, and for which you have heretofore had no explanation.

We will now take up the subject of the Sixth Principle, Spiritual Mind,

which will be more or less plain to those who have had glimmerings of

consciousness from this plane of the soul, but which will be full of "hard

sayings." and "dark corners" to those who have not as yet reached this stage

of unfoldment. The Seventh Principle, The Spirit, however, is beyond the

comprehension of any except the few enlightened and highly developed

souls, in and out of the body, who are as far above the ordinary man as the

average enlightened man is above the Bushman. We can but pass on to you

enough to give you a general intellectual idea of what is meant by "Spirit" -

the consciousness of it is still far beyond the race in its present stage. It is

well, however, to know of the existence of Spirit, as it helps us to

understand something of the Spiritual Mind, which is Spirit's means of

communication with the Intellectual consciousness. The comprehension of

Spiritual Mind, however, opens up such a wonderful world of thought that

we are satisfied to leave the understanding of Spirit until such time as we

will grow into a consciousness of it.

(6) The Spiritual Mind.

The Sixth Principle, Spiritual Mind, has been styled by some writers "The

Superconscious Mind," which term is a fairly good one, as it distinguishes

between the lower Subconscious Mind or Instinctive Mind, the Conscious

Mind or Intellect, and itself, which latter, while outside of the realm of

ordinary human consciousness, is still a very different thing from the lower

or Instinctive Mind.

While the actual existence of the Spiritual Mind has been made manifest to

but a limited number of the human race, there are many who are becoming

conscious of a higher "Something Within," which leads them up to higher

and nobler thoughts, desires, aspirations, and deeds. And there is a still

greater number who receive a faint glimmering of the light of the Spirit,

and, though they know it not, are more or less influenced by it. In fact, the

entire race receives some of its beneficent rays, although in some cases the

light is so bedimmed by the dense

material obstacles surrounding the man that his spiritual twilight is almost

akin to the blackness of night. But man is ever unfolding, discarding sheath

after sheath, and is slowly coming home. The light will eventually shine full

upon all.

All that we consider good, noble, and great in the human mind emanates

from the Spiritual Mind and is gradually unfolded into the ordinary

consciousness. Some Eastern writers prefer the term "projected" as more

correctly indicating the process whereby the ray of light is sent into the

consciousness of the man who has not yet reached the superhuman stage

of full Spiritual Consciousness. All that has come to man, in his evolution,

which tends toward nobility, true religious feeling, kindness, humanity,

justice, unselfish love, mercy, sympathy, etc., has come to him through his

slowly unfolding Spiritual Mind. His love of God and his love of Man has

come to him in this way. As the unfoldment goes on, his idea of justice

enlarges; he has more Compassion; his feeling of Human Brotherhood

increases; his idea of Love grows; and he increases in all the qualities

which men of all creeds pronounce "good," and which may all be summed

up as the practical attempt to live out the teachings of that great spiritual

Master, when He enunciated that great truth (well understood by the

occultists of all creeds, but so little understood by many who claim to be

followers of Him), saying:

"And thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy

soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength," and "Thou shalt love

thy neighbor as thyself."

As man's Spiritual Consciousness begins to unfold, he begins to have an

abiding sense of the reality of the existence of the Supreme Power, and,

growing along with it, he finds the sense of Human Brotherhood - of human

relationship - gradually coming into consciousness. He does not get these

things from his Instinctive Mind, nor does his Intellect make him feel

them. Spiritual Mind does not run contrary to Intellect - it simply goes

beyond Intellect. It passes down to the Intellect certain truths which it finds

in its own regions of the mind, and Intellect reasons about them. But they

do not originate with Intellect. Intellect is cold - Spiritual Consciousness is

warm and alive with high feeling.

Man's growth toward a better and fuller idea of the Divine Power does not

come from Intellect, although the latter reasons upon the impressions

received and tries to form them into systems, creeds, cults, etc. Nor does the

Intellect give us our growing sense of the relationship between man and

man - the Brotherhood of Man. Let us tell you why man is kinder to his

kind and to forms of life below him than ever before. It is not alone because

the Intellect teaches him the value of kindness and love, for man does not

become kind or loving by cold reasoning.

On the contrary, he becomes kind and loving because there arise within

him certain impulses and desires coming from some unknown place,

which render it impossible for him to be otherwise without suffering

discomfort and pain. These impulses are as real as other desires and

impulses, and as man develops these impulses become more numerous

and much stronger. Look at the world of a few hundred years ago, and

look at it today, and see how much kinder and more loving we are than

in those days. But do not boast of it, for we will seem as mere savages to

those who follow us and who will wonder at our inhumanity to our

brother-man from their point of view.

As man unfolds spiritually he feels his relationship to all mankind, and

he begins to love his fellowman more and more. It hurts him to see

others suffering, and when it hurts him enough he tries to do something

to remedy it. As time goes on and man develops, the terrible suffering

which many human beings undergo today will be impossible, for the

reason that the unfolding Spiritual Consciousness of the race will make

the pain felt so severely by all that the race will not be able to stand it,

and they will insist upon matters being remedied. From the inner

recesses of the soul comes a protest against the following of the lower

animal nature, and, although we may put it aside for a time, it will

become more and more persistent, until we are

forced to heed it. The old story of each person having two advisors, one at

each ear, one whispering to him to follow the higher teachings and the

other tempting him to pursue the lower path, is shown to be practically true

by the occult teaching regarding the three mental principles. The Intellect

represents the "I" consciousness of the average person. This "I" has on one

side the Instinctive Mind sending him to the old desires of the former self -

the impulses of the less developed life of the animal or lower man, which

desires were all very well in lower stages of development, but which are

unworthy of the growing man. On the other side is the Spiritual Mind,

sending its unfolding impulses into the Intellect, and endeavoring to draw

the consciousness up to itself - to aid in the man's unfoldment and

development, and to cause him to master and control his lower nature.

The struggle between the higher and lower natures has been noticed by all

careful observers of the human mind and character, and many have been

the theories advanced to account for it. In former times it was taught that

man was being tempted by the devil on the one hand, and helped by a

guardian angel on the other. But the truth is known to all occultists that

the struggle is between the two elements of man's nature, not exactly

warring, but each following its own line of effort, and the "I" being torn and

bruised in its efforts to adjust itself.

The Ego is in a transition stage of consciousness, and the struggle is quite

painful at times, but the growing man in time rises above the attraction of

the lower nature, and dawning Spiritual Consciousness enables him to

understand the true state of affairs, and aids him in asserting his mastery

over the lower self and in assuming a positive attitude toward it, while at the

same time he opens himself up to the light from the Spiritual Mind and

holds himself in a negative attitude toward it, resisting not its power.

The Spiritual Mind is also the source of the "inspiration" which certain

poets, painters, sculptors, writers, preachers, orators, and others have

received in all times and which they receive today. This is the source from

which the seer obtains his vision, the prophet his foresight. Many have

concentrated themselves upon high ideals in their work, and have received

rare knowledge from this source, and have attributed it to beings of another

world - from angels, spirits, from God Himself; but all came from within - it

was the voice of their Higher Self speaking to them. We do not mean to say

that no communications come to man from other intelligences - far from

this, we know that higher intelligences do often communicate with man

through the channel of his Spiritual Mind - but much that man has

attributed to outside intelligences has really come from himself. And man,

by the development of his

Spiritual Consciousness, may bring himself into a high relationship and

contact with this higher part of his nature, and may thus become possessed

of a knowledge of which the Intellect has not dared dream.

Certain high psychic powers are also open to man in this way, but such

powers are rarely obtained by one until he has risen above the attractions of

the lower part of his nature, for unless this were so man might use these

high gifts for base purposes. It is only when man ceases to care for power for

his personal use that power comes. Such is the Law.

When man learns of the existence of his Spiritual mind and begins to

recognize its promptings and leadings, he strengthens his bond of

communication with it, and consequently receives light of a greater

brilliancy. When we learn to trust the Spirit, it responds by sending us

more frequent flashes of illumination and enlightenment. As one unfolds in

Spiritual Consciousness he relies more upon this Inner Voice, and is able

more readily to distinguish it from impulses from the lower planes of the

mind. He learns to follow Spirit's leadings and to allow it to lend him a

guiding hand. Many of us have learned to know the reality of being "led by

the Spirit." To those who have experienced this leading we need not say

more, for they will recognize just what we mean. Those who have not as yet

experienced it must wait until the time comes for

them, for we cannot describe it, as there are no words to speak of these

things which are beyond words.

Toward the close of this lesson we will give a brief outline of some of the

phases of "Illumination" or awakening of Spiritual Consciousness, which

has come to some of us and will come to all in this or future phases of their

unfoldment. We must hasten on to a brief consideration of that which can

only be faintly understood by any of us the Seventh Principle - Spirit.

(7) Spirit.

How shall we approach this subject, which even the most advanced minds

in the flesh today can but faintly comprehend? How can the finite express

or comprehend the infinite? Spirit, man's Seventh Principle, is the Divine

Spark - our most precious inheritance from the Divine Power - a ray from

the Central Sun - the Real Self. Words cannot express it. Our minds fail to

grasp it. It is the soul of the Soul. To understand it we must understand

God, for Spirit is a drop from the Spirit Ocean - a grain of sand from the

shores of the Infinite - a particle of the Sacred Flame. It is that something

within us which is the cause of our evolution through all the weary ages. It

was the first to be, and yet it will be the last to appear in full consciousness.

When man arrives at a full consciousness of Spirit, he will be

so much higher than man that such a being is at present inconceivable to

the Intellect. Confined in many sheaths of matter, it has waited through the

long and weary ages for even a faint recognition, and is content to wait for

ages more until it is fully brought into consciousness. Man will ascend

many steps of development - from man to archangel - before Spirit will fully

claim its own. The Spirit is that within man which closest approaches the

Center - is nearest to God. It is only in an occasional precious moment that

we are aware of the existence of Spirit within us, and in such moments we

are conscious of coming into the awful presence of the Unknown. These

moments may come when one is engaged in deep religious thought - while

reading a poem bearing a precious message from soul to soul - in some

hour of affliction when all human aid has failed us and when human words

seem but mockery - in a moment when all seems lost and we feel the

necessity of a direct word from a being higher than ourselves. When these

moments come they leave with us a peace which never afterward entirely

escapes us, and we are ever after changed beings. In the moment of

Illumination or the dawn of Spiritual Consciousness we also feel the real

presence of the Spirit. In these moments we become conscious of our

relationship with and connection with the Center of Life. Through the

medium of the Spirit God reveals Himself to Man.

We cannot dwell longer on this subject - it overpowers one, and mere words

seem too weak for use in connection with it. Those who have felt the

impulses of the Spiritual Mind have been made faintly conscious of the

abiding sense of the Spirit, although they cannot grasp its full significance.

And those who have not experienced these things would not understand us

if we wrote volumes of our imperfect and undeveloped conceptions of the

subject. So we will pass on, trusting that we have awakened in your minds

at least a faint desire to be brought into a closer communion and contact

with this, the highest part of Self - Self itself. The Peace of the Spirit abide

with you.

Illumination or Spiritual Consciousness.

With many, Spiritual Mind unfolds gradually and slowly, and, while one

may feel a steady increase of spiritual knowledge and consciousness, he

may not have experienced any marked and startling change. Others have

had moments of what is known as "Illumination," when they seemed lifted

almost out of their normal state, and where they seemed to pass into a

higher plane of consciousness or being, which left them more advanced

than ever before, although they could not carry back into consciousness a

clear recollection of what they had experienced while in the exalted state of

mind. These experiences have come to many persons, in different

forms and degrees, of all forms of religious beliefs, and have been generally

associated with some feature of the particular religious belief entertained by

the person experiencing the illumination. But advanced occultists recognize

all of these experiences as differing forms of one and the same thing the

dawning of the Spiritual Consciousness -the unfoldment of the Spiritual

Mind. Some writers have styled this experience "Cosmic Consciousness,"

which is a very appropriate name, as the illumination, at least in its higher

forms, brings one in touch with the whole of Life, making him feel a sense

of kinship with all Life, high or low, great or small, "good" or "bad:"

These experiences, of course, vary materially according to the degree of

unfoldment of the individual, his previous training, his temperament, etc.,

but certain characteristics are common to all. The most common feeling is

that of possessing almost complete knowledge of all things - almost

Omniscience. This feeling exists only for a moment, and leaves one at first

in an agony of regret over what he has seen and lost. Another feeling

commonly experienced is that of a certainty of immortality - a sense of

actual being, and the certainty of having always been, and of being

destined to always be. Another feeling is the total slipping away of all fear

and the acquirement of a feeling of certainty, trust, and confidence, which is

beyond the comprehension of those

who have never experienced it. Then a feeling of love sweeps over one - a

love which takes in all Life, from those near to one in the flesh to those at

the farthest parts of the universe - from those whom we hold as pure and

holy to those whom the world regards as vile, wicked, and utterly unworthy.

All feelings of self-righteousness and condemnation seem to slip away, and

one's love, like the light of the sun, falls upon all alike, irrespective of their

degree of development or "goodness."

To some these experiences have come as a deep, reverent mood or feeling,

which took complete possession of them for a few moments or longer, while

others have seemed in a dream and have become conscious of a spiritual

uplifting accompanied by a sensation of being surrounded by a brilliant and

all-pervading light or glow. To some certain truths have become manifest in

the shape of symbols, the true meaning of which did not become apparent

until, perhaps, long afterward.

These experiences, when they have come to one, have left him in a new

state of mind, and he has never been the same man afterward. Although.

the keenness of the recollection has worn off, there remains a certain

memory which long afterward proves a source of comfort and strength to

him, especially when he feels faint of faith and is shaken like a reed by the

winds of conflicting opinions and speculations of the Intellect. The memory

of such an

experience is a source of renewed strength - a haven of refuge to which the

weary soul flies for shelter from the outside world, which understands it not.

These experiences are usually also accompanied with a sense of intense joy;

in fact, the word and thought "Joy" seems to be uppermost in the mind at

the time. But it is a joy not of ordinary experience - it is something which

cannot be dreamed of until after one has experienced it - it is a joy the

recollection of which will cause the blood to tingle and the heart to throb

whenever the mind reverts to the experience. As we have already said, there

also comes a sense of a "knowing" of all things - an intellectual illumination

impossible to describe.

From the writings of the ancient philosophers of all races, from the songs of

the great poets of all peoples, from the preachings of the prophets of all

religions and times we can gather traces of this illumination which has

come to them - this unfoldment of the Spiritual Consciousness. We have not

the space to enumerate these numerous instances. One has told of it in one

way, the other in another; but all tell practically the same story. All who

have experienced this illumination, even in a faint degree, recognize the like

experience in the tale, song, or preaching of another, though centuries may

roll between them. It is the song of the Soul, which when once heard is

never forgotten. Though it be sounded by the crude instrument of the

semibarbarous races or the finished instrument of the talented musician of

today, its strains are plainly recognized. From Old Egypt comes the song -

from India in all ages - from Ancient Greece and Rome from the early

Christian saint - from the Quaker Friend - from the Catholic monasteries -

from the Mohammedan mosque - from the Chinese philosopher - from the

legends of the American Indian hero prophet - it is always the same strain,

and it is swelling louder and louder, as many more are taking it up and

adding their voices or the sounds of their instruments to the grand chorus.

That much misunderstood Western poet, Walt Whitman, knew what he

meant (and so do we) when he blurted out in uncouth verse his strange

experiences. Read what he says - has it ever been better expressed?

As in a swoon, one instant,

Another sun, ineffable, full dazzles me,

And all the orbs I knew, and brighter, unknown orbs,

One instant of the future land, Heaven's land."

And when he rouses himself from his ecstasy, he cries:

"I cannot be awake,

For nothing looks to me as it did before,

Or else I am awake for the first time,

And all before has been a mean sleep.

And we must join with him when he expresses

man's inability to describe intelligently this thing in these words:

When I try to tell the best I find, I cannot;

My tongue is ineffectual on its pivots,

My breath will not be obedient to its organs,

I become a dumb man.

May this great joy of Illumination be yours, dear students. And it will be

yours when the proper time comes. When it comes do not be dismayed, and

when it leaves you do not mourn its loss - it will come again. Live on,

reaching ever upward toward your Real Self and opening up yourself to its

influence. Be always willing to listen to the Voice of The Silence - willing

always to respond to the touch of The Unseen Hand. In the little manual,

"Light on the Path," you will find many things which will now perhaps seem

plainer to you.

Do not fear again, for you have with you always the Real Self, which is a

spark from the Divine Flame, and which will be as a lamp to your feet to

show you the way.

Peace be unto you.

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Replies to This Discussion

wow.. thank you for bringing this here... I look forward to more

I need more time to read this thoroughly.

I always want to read your blogs throughout.

In the beginning I would

say:"Spirit embedded in Soul in body." Spirit is not one of many so is not 'a spirit' which may indicate that. I'm sure you meant The Great One Spirit because we think alike.


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